Constructing Periander in Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages

Herodotean Democracies

Citation with persistent identifier: Schlosser, Joel Alden. “Herodotean Democracies.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SchlosserJ.Herodotean_Democracies.2016 I. 1§1 To study the past, let alone antiquity, at a time when present challenges are both stupendously urgent and complex beyond understanding often feels quite dissonant. How can we possible turn our backs on what’s happening right now to think about ancient history? This feeling has been especially strong in 2016. After a summer… Read more

Improving the Public Image Through Athletics: Young Victors in Hellenistic Thebes

Citation with persistent identifier: Scharff, Sebastian. “Improving the Public Image Through Athletics: Young Victors in Hellenistic Thebes.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:ScharffS.Improving_the_Public_Image_through_Athletics.2016 Introductory remarks 1§1 The Hellenistic history of Thebes begins with a tragedy: following the rumor that Alexander had died in Illyria, the Thebans rose against their Macedonian garrison, which had been installed on the Kadmeia after the battle of Chaironeia, and encouraged all the Greeks to join… Read more

Aristotelian Piety Reconsidered

Citation with persistent identifier: Aufderheide, Joachim. “Aristotelian Piety Reconsidered.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:AufderheideJ.Aristotelian_Piety_Reconsidered.2016 Introduction 1§1 Aristotle apparently does not discuss piety in the Nicomachean Ethics. The omission is puzzling because piety was an important and well-discussed virtue; Plato even devoted a whole dialogue to it, the Euthyphro. I will not dwell long on possible explanations. Prima facie, Aristotle could have made room for piety, but chose not to:… Read more

Logical Categories and the Parts of Speech System as Structuring Devices in Pollux’ Onomasticon*

Citation with persistent identifier: Chronopoulos, Stylianos. “Logical Categories and the Parts of Speech System as Structuring Devices in Pollux’ Onomasticon.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:ChronopoulosS.Logical_Categories_and_Parts_of_Speech_as_Structuring_Devices.2016 Pollux’ Onomasticon as onomasiological dictionary 1§1 Pollux’ Onomasticon is a Greek dictionary in 10 books (ca. 120.000 words) from the second century CE. It is written as fluid text, although it mainly contains lists of words. Its author, Julius Pollux, was a professional orator… Read more

The Cyclic Views of the Human Condition in Thucydides’ Archaeology and Sima Qian’s Preface to Historical Records

Citation with persistent identifier: BAI, Chun Xiao. “The Cyclic Views of the Human Condition in Thucydides’ Archaeology and Sima Qian’s Preface to Historical Records.” CHS Research Bulletin 5, no. 1 (2016). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BaiX.The_Cyclic_Views_of_the_Human_Condition.2016 1§1 The commencement of historiography may be a coincidence. In ancient societies, there were many methods for people to preserve their memories: oral poetry, religious stories, funerary texts, instruction literature, king lists, chronicles of kingdoms, and so on. According to… Read more

Abstract | Herodotean Democracies

What can Herodotus say to today’s democracies? This essay begins from a puzzle about the very language of democracy in Herodotus’s Histories, namely the narrator’s notorious re-description of what the Persian Otanes called isonomia as a demokratia. Most interpreters wave off this difference as insignificant, but I show how it highlights the variety of democracies within the Histories. Different democracies also practice different principles of equality: isonomia, isegoria, and isokratia.… Read more

Abstract | Constructing Periander in Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages

In Plutarch’s Symposium of the Seven Sages, a seer called Diocles recounts what transpired at a symposium hosted by Periander, the tyrant of Corinth, and attended by several individuals, including the Seven Sages. It is the scholarly consensus that, while Periander was sometimes considered one of the Sages, he is not part of this elite group in Plutarch’s dialogue. This claim is, of course, correct, but, as I hope to… Read more

Abstract | Logical Categories and Parts of Speech as Structuring Devices in Pollux’ Onomasticon

Pollux’ Onomasticon is a Greek dictionary of the 2nd century CE. It is the first extant representative of the genre of the onomasiological dictionary in Greek. It attempts to organize the vocabulary of the Greek language into object domains and wordfields, and thus must resolve questions concerning the overall logical structure of the concepts (macrostructure) as well as the organization of the words cited under each concept (microstructure). In my… Read more

Abstract | Improving the Public Image through Athletics. Young Victors in Hellenistic Thebes

The political history of Hellenistic Thebes was far from a success story. Razed to the ground by Alexander in 335 BC, the city never regained its former political significance. Nevertheless, there is a particular kind of Theban success in this period which is worth investigating: the agonistic achievements of Theban athletes. A deeper analysis of their victories results in an agonistic profile of Hellenistic Thebes which includes the disciplines and… Read more

Abstract | Aristotelian Piety Reconsidered

Aristotle apparently does not discuss piety in the Nicomachean Ethics, certainly not overtly. Against an ingenious proposal by Sarah Broadie, I argue that the passage she identifies as a covert discussion of piety does not give a special role to piety. By placing the passage in question in its context, I provide a reading of the context that can explain why Aristotle needs to discuss the connection between external resources and happiness. The… Read more

Abstract | The Cyclic Views of the Human Condition in Thucydides’ “Archaeology” and Sima Qian’s “Preface to Historical Records”

It seems to me that both Greek and Chinese historical thinking originally investigated the past and reconstructed cultural memories with rationality, and I hope to get a better understanding of the basic characteristics of Greek and Chinese historiographies. To that purpose, this paper attempts to discuss the cyclic views of the human condition underlying ancient Greek and early Chinese historiographies through a comparative study of Thucydides’ and Sima Qian’s texts. I… Read more

Reframing the Phylogeny of Asia Minor Greek: The View from Pontic Greek

Citation with persistent identifier: Ioanna Sitaridou. “Reframing the Phylogeny of Asia Minor Greek: The View from Pontic Greek.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no.1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:SitaridouI.Reframing_the_Phylogeny_of_Asia_Minor_Greek.2016 Introduction 1§1 Greek historical dialectology remains an understudied area of research –understandably so because of millennia-long diglossia– despite recent theoretical advances in the study of syntactic variation, comparative linguistics and phylogenies. 1§2 The aim of this paper[1] is, precisely, to fill this gap through the study of the… Read more

An Athenian Decree Revisited

Citation with persistent identifier: Doyen, Charles. “An Athenian Decree Revisited.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no.1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:DoyenC.An_Athenian_Decree_Revisited.2016 Michel Fourmont’s Collection of Inscriptions 1§1 On September 1, 1728, François Sevin and Michel Fourmont, members of the Académie royale des inscriptions et belles-lettres, left Paris on a scientific journey to Constantinople (Omont 1902:537–662, 1078–1151). They were sent by King Louis XV and his minister, the Count of Maurepas, to collect Greek and oriental manuscripts from… Read more

A Sanctuary Model for Representing Incubation in Classical Athens

Citation with persistent identifier: Barrenechea, Francisco. “A sanctuary model for representing incubation in Classical Athens.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:BarrenecheaF.A_Sanctuary_Model_for_Representing_Incubation.2016 Introduction 1§1 In December 2016, I had the wonderful opportunity to do a brief presentation of my research to an audience of fellows and colleagues at the Center for Hellenic Studies. This presentation is now available online, and the following lines are meant as a brief introduction to it. The… Read more

Writing and the City in Later Roman Egypt. Towards a Social History of the Ancient “Scribe”

Citation with persistent identifier: Ast, Rodney. “Writing and the City in Later Roman Egypt. Towards a Social History of the Ancient ‘Scribe.’” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:AstR.Writing_in_the_City_in_Later_Roman_Egypt.2016 Introduction* 1§1 This paper has its origin in a certain discontent with the one-dimensional way in which ancient writers are often described. The problem is part terminological: the title “scribe,” which properly denotes a professional copyist or clerk, is used very freely in… Read more

Preface to Pindar: Early Classical Choral Songs and the Language of Genre

Citation with persistent identifier: Agócs, Peter. “Preface to Pindar: Early Classical Choral Songs and the Language of Genre.” CHS Research Bulletin 4, no. 1 (2015). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:AgocsP.Preface_to_Pindar.2016 Introduction 1§1 In the fifth century BCE, ancient Greek society was still a ‘song culture’: “a society whose prime medium for the expression and communication of its most important feelings and ideas” was performed song. To understand the full implications of this fact is, as John Herington… Read more

Abstract–Writing and the City in Late Roman Egypt. Towards a Social History of the Ancient “Scribe”

As part of a larger project on the practical application of literate education in antiquity, this paper highlights one segment of Roman society that dealt in reams of the written word: literate liturgists and members of the curial class. Municipal and state business was conducted by a body of individuals whose ability to write Greek varied. For some, written communication was a routine, albeit secondary, part of the liturgical duties… Read more

Abstract–Reframing the Phylogeny of Asia Minor Greek: The View from Pontic Greek

In this article we discuss some of the crucial issues pertaining to the evolution and classification of Pontic Greek. In particular, we examine the extent to which Pontic Greek participated in the koineization process. In light of the Romeyka data (still spoken in North-East Turkey in the area traditionally known as Pontus), we present our cue-based (in the sense of Lightfoot 2002) reconstruction method (see also Willis 2011), which, according… Read more

Abstract–Preface to Pindar: Early Classical Choral Songs and the Language of Genre

The paper, which argues that Greek philology needs an injection of cultural relativism and attention to indigenous ways of thinking (‘ethnopoetics’), focuses on the problems of genre and cultural distance in reading early Greek poetic texts and especially Pindar and Bacchylides, and on how we can understand what these texts meant in their own time and cultural context. It first examines how the concepts and terms by which Alexandrian scholarship… Read more

Abstract–Palamedes’ Pharmacy

The fate of Palamedes fascinated classical Athens: unjustly accused by Odysseus, he was convicted of treason and executed by the Greek army in Troy. The paper explores this fascination in relation to the catalogues of benefaction that seem to have been a constant in depictions of the story. The catalogues describe Palamedes’ contributions to the war effort and broader collective, and take part in broader discussions of the origins of… Read more

Abstract–A Sanctuary Model for Representing Incubation in Classical Athens

Aristophanes’ comic narrative of a miracle cure of Asklepios in Wealth 627-759 reflects a model for representing this experience that would later manifest itself in the healing stories set up in the god’s sanctuary at Epidauros. In this early instantiation, the model already displays the influence of the sanctuary in the ways it seeks to gives proof that the miracle took place; as an example of this influence, my paper… Read more

Abstract–An Athenian Decree Revisited

This paper focuses on an Athenian decree implementing a fundamental metrological reform at the end of the 2nd century BCE. This text has been known for a long time, since it was seen and copied by Michel Fourmont in Athens in 1729. The inscription is now lost, so that Fourmont’s sketch is our main source for this decree, together with a small fragment of a copy of the same decree… Read more

Atticist Lexica and the Pronunciation of Greek

Citation with persistent identifier: Vessella, Carlo. “Atticist Lexica and the Pronunciation of Greek.” CHS Research Bulletin 3, no. 1 (2014). http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hlnc.essay:VessellaC.Atticist_Lexica_and_the_Pronunciation_of_Greek.2014 Atticism and pronunciation 1§1 This paper argues that some of the Atticist lexica written between the second and third centuries CE contain prescriptions that reveal ideas about the correct pronunciation of Greek among the educated elites of the Imperial period. The same individuals who thought there was a pure variety of Greek… Read more

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